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Mercedes-AMG GT 4-door - hybrid AMG to be revealed at Frankfurt

Jordan Katsianis
22 Jun 2017

Near production prototype spotted testing before immanent reveal - here are the facts on Mercedes-AMG's first hybrid

Mercedes-AMG is about to drop its latest rendition of a sports saloon, a production version of the imperious AMG GT Concept. Seen testing in another round of spy-shots, the car will be revealed at the upcoming Frankfurt motorshow powered by Affalterbach’s first hybrid powertrain.

Despite the nomenclature connection to the Mercedes-AMG GT, the GT 4-door will be based instead on a heavily modified version of the MRA platform that already underpins core Mercedes-Benz saloons. To justify the name though, Mercedes has significantly widened the GT 4-door compared to its more staid saloon cousins, integrating some of the design trademarks from the AMG GT including an upswept window line and fastback rear end.

The long, low body will remain faithful to the concept, donning a Panamerica grill and trapezoidal headlights at the front, while at the rear, slim LED tail lights similar to those on the concept look unchanged.

>Click here to read our review on the Mercedes-AMG GT R

>Click here to learn more about the Mercedes-AMG 'Project One' hypercar

The bit that we are interested in though is what lies underneath the bonnet, as the hybridised ‘EQ Power+’ V8 powertrain we were promised in the concept will materialise in production form. Using the same ‘hot-vee’ 4.0-litre bi-turbo V8 as seen in other AMG models, Mercedes-AMG will supplement that with an electric motor raising total power up to around 800bhp, if sources are correct. That makes even the insane Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid’s 670hp seem limp by comparison.

The powertrain will also function as a full series-hybrid system that should allow some level of EV mode depending on battery capacity. Rather than just retrofitting a current Mercedes-Benz battery pack, AMG will be producing a higher specification system that will be able to expel and regenerate electricity at a higher rate.

This hybrid system will be connected to a nine-speed automatic gearbox and 4MATIC all-wheel drive system, although it remains to be seen if it will mimic the latest E63 in offering a rear-drive drift mode. The latest mule spotted also sported a set of carbon-ceramic brakes with massive gold calipers.

>Click here for out passenger ride in the Porsche Panamera Turbo S E-Hybrid

The result of all of this tech should be some pretty mind blowing performance figures, with AMG aiming for a 0-62mph time of under three seconds while MPG and CO2 figures should both be far friendlier than the AMG norm. What AMG will call it is still up for speculation, with rumours of GT 4 or GT C4 floating around, as well as a possible historic moniker brought back from the past, considering it is AMG’s 50th birthday this year. 

Regardless of the name, the GT 4-door may seem to some like a clumsy double up of the four-door coupe niche considering a new CLS is just around the corner, but it is more an exercise in the integration of hybrid technology in future of AMG. Complementing AMG’s upcoming 'Project One' F1 based hypercar, the GT will act as a halo product before the widespread adoption of this technology across the Mercedes-AMG range in the future.

 

Below is a conversation our deputy editor Adam Towler had with AMG boss Tobias Moers at the launch of the AMG GT Concept in Geneva earlier this year, extrapolating on the car and AMG’s future.

Tobias Moers on the Concept GT

evo grabbed a few minutes Mercedes-AMG CEO Tobias Moers back at the Geneva motor show, who gave us a little more insight into the unique new fastback - and the company's increasing commitment to hybrid powertrains and their potential performance benefits.

When did you start work on the Concept GT?

'The idea of the car was born three years ago, the idea of the hybrid drivetrain was born two years ago, and the idea to do a concept car was born a year ago: this car is the outcome of a lot of work, and looking for the future of performance.'

Can you describe that future?

'Hybrid gives you a lot of opportunities for driving dynamics. Yes, you have to deal with the added weight – that can’t be eliminated. But beyond 2020 electrified powertrains will be the key to expansion. With 99,000 cars sold last year we’re no longer a small player in the performance segment, and I think it’s up to us to define what future performance looks like.'

How does the Concept GT illustrate that?

'You will see a totally different approach to hybrid with the GT (than from Mercedes). It’s not about long range – although we can do that - but it’s about performance that gives more power and efficiency; the freedom to have electric range 30-50km – or more depending on battery size and weight – but that provides 0-62mph in under three seconds. This is not just a showcase: we do have a car, we know how it drives, and we do see improvements on the racetrack. The secret is having a driving strategy that gives you ‘always on’ with the batteries – instant throttle response, but torque vectoring, too.

'The batteries are done by us. They are different to the ones Mercedes uses, because a performance hybrid means you push more amps back and pull more amps out in the same period of time. – it’s about the cells, the chemistry and the cooling. We have a lot of experience now, coming from the SLS Electric Drive.'

Tobias Moers was speaking to Adam Towler

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